Whitewashed apartments set around bougainvillea-clad gardens, historic farmhouses transformed into charming self-catering cottages, boutique hotels taking advantage of their mountain-top locations, basic pensiones located in atmospheric old buildings or rooms tucked away in mountain caves. Accommodation in the Canary Islands offers far more than the colossal apartment complexes and uber-luxurious five-star hotels typical of tourist resorts – though there are plenty of those as well.
The largest and most visited island is Tenerife, where the high-profile tourist resorts are in the south. Puerto de la Cruz, in the north, has excellent tourist facilities and more charm, while historic La Laguna is a very good-looking heritage inland choice. Up in the hills, villages such as Vilaflor provide a scenic alternative and a good base for exploring El Teide. The capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a lovely city with some excellent accommodation choices for all budgets and is very well-positioned for excursions into the Anaga Mountains.
Fuerteventura has two main resorts: Morro Jable in the south, and Corralejo in the north, which has a pretty harbour at its heart. A far quieter and less busy coastal option with some excellent budget accommodation is El Cotillo, a short drive across the north of the island from Corralejo. You will also find a decent number of charming, rustic places to lodge in the central regions.
Lanzarote’s Puerto del Carmen, Costa Teguise and Playa Blanca are the main tourist areas, while the capital Arrecife is a good base.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria combines a great beach with city sophistication, while the southern resorts are unabashedly family-orientated. Rural villages such as Mogán offer gorgeous pastoral escapes while the mountain villages of Tejeda and Artenara surround you with fabulous views.
La Palma’s Los Cancajos and Puerto Naos beaches are among the best on the island, while the centre hinterland is home to atmospheric casas rurales. Santa Cruz de la Palma has several excellent choices if you want to make the very handsome capital your base.
La Gomera & El Hierro
On the smallest islands, accommodation is predominantly midrange and includes atmospheric rural offerings.